Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Start of Another School Year

Yesterday was Alexis and Tori's first day of school, and today was Levi's first day. Alexis is a big 3rd grader this year. I can hardly believe it. She wasn't too excited for the school year to start, so I was nervous for her first day. You can always tell how the school day went by the look on their face when they come out. There have been a few first days that have ended with tears, so I was nervous to see how this year would go. All of my fears were gone when I saw the big smile on her face as she walked out of the school. Her exact words were, "3rd grade is GREAT! I made 2 new best friends!" What a relief! Her teacher's name is Mrs. Haramy, and we have heard that although she is strict, she is a wonderful teacher.

This year Tori finally started Kindergarten! She was so excited to finally be going to school with Alexis. I was worried that she would be nervous on her first day, but she did great! I was so busy worrying about her, that I didn't even contemplate how I would be! As we stood there in line, as she was about to walk in the door, I leaned down and gave her a hug, and said, "you are going to have so much fun and meet so many new friends." As I was saying this to her, it all hit me, and I got really teary. I didn't expect to get that way at all, since I knew she was so ready to go to school, but I did. Starting Kindergarten is such a big step. The days of her being home with me are over, and I can never get those years back. At least she is only in half day Kindergarten. =)

Today Levi had his first day of preschool. He is back at Leawood again. Towards the end of last year he had a really hard time going to school, and so I was worried that he would have a hard time going back this year. As the summer came to an end I talked a lot about how he would be going back to school soon, and he always replied, "NO!" So I was a little nervous as the first day drew nearer. Yesterday they had a preschool open house, where the kids got to come and meet the teachers and explore the new classroom. Just him and I went, and we stayed there for about an hour in his classroom with his new teachers, and classmates looking around and getting used to things. I am so glad they gave the kids the opportunity to do that, because I think it really helped a lot, and today he had no problems going. I am keeping my fingers crossed that he continues to enjoy it.

Here he is waiting for school to start. He is in the "dragonfly" room.

When the kids first get there they have to do a question of the day. Parents aren't allowed to go in and help, so I just watched and took pictures. =)

As this year starts I am really excited. With Brandon's job going so well, I am able to stop doing day care. I feel so grateful for that. Last year I wasn't able to help at all in my kid's classes, and I felt so out of touch with everything. It was really hard especially not being able to help in Alexis's class, as she struggled a little bit more. This year I am determined to be involved with all of their classes, and really help each of them to love school and have a great year.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Our Summer

Well here it is, the night before school starts. Summer has just flown right on by! I have been terrible about blogging this summer, so I decided to just do one huge blog documenting some of the fun things that we did. So here goes!

We tried to stay busy going to lots of different parks. Our ward has an awesome playgroup so that made planning easy! One of our favorites is Belleview Park. It has a fun train to ride, a petting zoo, and a little creek that the kids love to wade in. Unfortunately I only got a few pictures, which is what I am discovering as I go through and edit all of the pictures from this summer. Here is Tori as the petting zoo, and then, Alexis, Levi and Tori riding on the train.

We loved going to different sprinkler parks with friends. One of our favorites is Civic green Park. They have a really fun park for the kids to play at, a little creek that is chemically treated that the kids love, and then a great area with fountains that the kids could play in forever. We frequented this park quite a few times this summer.
We were able to go to Pirates Cove twice this summer. It has a great swimming area for the kids, a huge sand area, three big slides, and a lazy river. The first time we went AJ and Cindy were visiting. Somehow we all ended up in the sand area for quite some time. We had a blast building sandcastles. AJ and Brandon enjoyed it a little too much I think. They stayed in there long after we headed back to the pool, building a "drip castle" After they were finished with it, Brandon stayed with it, so no one would wreck it, while AJ came and found us to come take a picture. When they finally decided to leave the sand area, they talked some poor little kid into guarding it to make sure no one knocked it down =) Talk about two kids at heart =)

No summer would be complete without swimming lessons! I signed them up for a session near the end of summer. The first day Levi cried and cried and refused to get in. The next day he was fine, and couldn't get enough!Last year our goal with Tori was to get her to put her head under the water. What a difference a year makes! This summer she was our little fish! She loved going swimming so much, and even learned to swim unattended! The highlight of swimming lessons for her was going off the diving board for the very first time!Alexis learned how to swim pretty well last year, but we decided to put her back in swimming lessons so she could freshen up and learn some new strokes. Her favorite park of swimming lessons was learning how to dive.Should I dive off the diving board?? Nah I think I'll just jump! =)

Every Tuesday, all the Foothills pools have 2.00 admission. Every week we tried to head to one of them. They have some really fun pools, and this is something that the kids looked forward to doing every week. They knew that every Tuesday was pool day, and they didn't let me forget it!

It wasn't all fun this summer. Unfortunately the stomach bug hit our house halfway through. I couldn't resist snapping this picture of Tori asleep on the couch with her "throw up bowl"

Our favorite part of the summer was our family reunion in Lava Hot Springs Idaho. This may sound lame, but family reunions are one my favorite vacations to take. I love my family and extended family and we always have such a blast hanging out. This reunion was my mom's dad's side of the family. I haven't been to one of these since high school, but since my mom and my aunt were in charge, they talked all of us kids in coming, and we are so glad we did. The first night Brandon, Katie, Michael and the kids decided to go wading in the river. At least that's what it started out to be. It ended turning into a full on swim for some of them!

There was a really small little barn at the place where the reunion was held. There were some baby bunnies, and the kids absolutely loved holding them. They spent quite a bit of time here. At the end of the reunion the lady who owned them decided to offer to give all the kids who wanted one, a free bunny. Alexis and Brandon thought this was so great, and were so excited until I stepped in and crushed all of their dreams. I said there was no way we were getting another pet! I am such a mean mom aren't I. We all know who always ends up taking care of pets after the excitement of a new animal wears off.

While we were at the reunion, my parents celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary! We were so excited that we were there to help them celebrate and decided to plan a little surprise. Before the reunion I ordered a cake that had one of their wedding pictures, and then a more recent picture on it. We surprised them with it at the reunion along with a little game to see how well they new each other after all these years. It was similar to the Newlyweds game. I am proud to report that they know each other quite well!

Since Kristalyn, David and the boys moved to Utah, our kids have really missed each other. It was so much fun for them to be able to see one another, and play. After they moved it took several weeks for Levi to stop asking if Mason was coming, every time we went somewhere. After we returned home from the reunion it started up again. They are such good buddies.

I didn't get pictures of everything we did while we were there, but one of the big events of the week was jumping off of a 40 foot platform into a pool. There was a huge pool, with lots of slides, diving boards, and three platforms that you could jump off of. We drove by a few times before going, and saw the platforms. Brandon's mom told us that when she was in high school, she went to Lava Hot springs and to that pool. She said that she climbed all the way to the top, saw how far down it was, and turned around and went down. Well, Brandon was determined to get me to jump. Him and AJ jumped first. They were pretty scared, and it looked pretty terrifying, so I though Brandon would give up on trying to make me jump. Wrong! He dragged Katie and I up there, and we did it. Not before signing our lives away on a waiver though. I have to tell you, I found absolutely no pleasure in that jump. I was terrified the whole way up, and for the whole time waiting in line. I think I might have even cried a little! They let two people jump at the same time, so Katie and I jumped together. I tried to go in as straight as possible, but at the last second I bent backwards a little and landed in a semi seated position. Katie did the same. It hurt!! I ended up severely bruising my tailbone. I couldn't sit for long periods of time, for weeks, I still feel a little bit of pain, even though it has been nearly two months. Looking back, it wasn't even fun! But at least I did it!
Another thing I didn't get pictures of, was Brandon tubing down the river. This was the highlight of the trip for Brandon. They got to go down several mini waterfalls, and he loved it. He ended up with a few battle wounds, but still insisted that it was a blast. He took Alexis down once, and she loved it too. This was after I had made the jump, and so unfortunately I wasn't able to go, because I was hurting so bad. Maybe we will go back someday though!
All in all it was such a fun quick little trip. We can't wait until the next family reunion.

Brandon ended the summer with a bang yesterday, by going sky diving! Stay tuned to a post dedicated to that!

Well that concludes my summer recap. I wish I would have taken more pictures, but I am glad that I captured the ones I did. Now on to a new school year!